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8 hidden tips of iOS for iPhone and iPad users

iOS 10
8 hidden tips of iOS for iPhone and iPad users
As we always say iOS has many hidden tricks and features which can make your day easy with your device.

There are reinvented features like Widgets, a new Messages app, and 3D Touch integration, which gave developers new tools to work their magic. In fact, for developers, iOS 10 was like getting Marvin's Magic Box of Tricks.

We're now starting to see the fruits of their labor, which makes it a great time to brush up on some of the hidden iOS 10 functionality that hasn't made it into your repertoire.

So, today in this article we are bringing you the 8 hidden tips which can be handy for iPhone users in their day to day usage.

Must Read: Great hidden features of iOS 10.3 for iPhone and iPad

Become a Super-typer

Typing on iOS can be a pain, but you can define shortcuts for phrases that automatically expand. These can include multiple words, emoji, and ASCII text art.

In Settings, go to General > Keyboard > Text Replacement, and add phrase/shortcut pairs. Consider using a system for phrases, such as two commas after a memorable word – ‘email,,’ could expand to your email address, for example.

Shortcuts sync via iCloud, and on Mac, you can take them further - use Alt+Return to add a carriage return when creating multiple-line phrases to trigger.

Master your widgets

Widgets arrived back in iOS 8, but now they're really hitting their stride and have become one of our most-used features. Swipe right on your lock screen or head left of your leftmost Home screen find your iOS widgets. Now scroll down and tap Edit for a list of available widgets.

To remove an existing widget, tap its ‘-’ button and then Remove. To add something from ‘more widgets’, tap the relevant ‘+’ button. Widgets can be arranged using the drag handles and content varies wildly so some may need configuring inside a parent app.

Avoid displaying private information in widgets other people may see or, alternatively, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode, disable Today View under ‘Allow access when locked’.

Which widgets should top your list? It depends on which apps you use the most, but our favorites include Citymapper, Fantastical, Shazam, Launch Center Pro and Dark Sky.

Must Read: 10 iOS 10 Features which Apple didn’t talk on the launch

Get some fancy wallpaper

We don't mean hours of scraping with a putty knife. Did you know you can set a live photo as your wallpaper? Turn on live photos by pressing the concentric circles at the top of the iOS viewfinder, take a snap, then go to Settings > Wallpaper.

Choose ‘Choose a new wallpaper’ then find your live photo. Pressing the screen will now make it animate for a few seconds. You can also choose from Apple’s slightly odd official Live Wallpapers.

Say it with laser

Make sure your other half understands the urgency with which new loo roll is needed by adding some lasers to the message, which will fill the screen of their iPhone when they open it.

When you’ve written what you want to say, hold the send button firmly and a menu will pop up, allowing you to choose the effect or animation you want to add. Pro tip: it’s best not to use them when telling your neighbor their budgie died while they were on holiday.

Must Read: Five must try features of iOS 10.3

Make an iMessage song

If you fancy making music with a friend but aren’t armed with guitars and a room in which to be noisy, try MusicMessages!.

This tiny app lives inside of Messages and lets you fling music back and forth between two or more people. You can select from dozens of instruments, tapping out notes and rhythms on a grid. Just don’t go nuts with a massive (virtual) flute solo.

Note that for free, you get a stripped-back MusicMessages! with three layers and fewer things to play. For 99p, you get up to five layers, selectable user colors, and many more instruments.

Release the gifts

Why use boring words when you can say it all with a turtle gif? Install the Gipsy extension and you’ll be able to search it's near the seemingly unlimited library for the perfect iMessage sign-off.

Your repertoire isn’t just limited to GIFs either – press the switch in the app’s top left corner and you can search through stickers, which you can add as reactions to messages you’ve been sent. What a time to be alive.

Stop cursing the cursor

Moving the tiny cursor around to edit an iMessage can make you want to hurl your iPhone out of a window. Give the keyboard a hard press, though, and it’ll turn into a nice big trackpad for moving the cursor around easily. Saves getting the magnifying glass out.

Need to highlight a whole line of text? After the keyboard goes blank from your first 3D Touch, release the pressure (while still touching the screen), then press hard again to get text highlighting. You’re now ready to enter the iMessaging World Championships.

Must Read: 4 Big changes that will come to your iPhone and iPad after installing iOS 10.3

Hands-free WhatsApp

If you’re driving and have some urgent Overwatch banter to attend to on WhatsApp, you can now get Siri to send a message.

Just say ‘Hey Siri, send a message on WhatsApp to [insert contact] …’ and she’ll do the honors. Although, given that Siri will almost certainly have misheard you, it’s best to check the preview window that pop-ups before you say ‘yes’ and ruin a long-term friendship.

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